When you are the victim of an accident, you can sustain any number of varied injuries, though some are more common than others. One of the most common injuries sustained in accidents is traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is primarily due to blunt trauma. If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI, you may be entitled to compensation, especially if your injuries were the result of negligence.
South Carolina TBI Statistics
The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control cites statistics from 2014 that pinpoint the leading cause of TBI-related deaths as motor vehicle accidents, at approximately 33% of the total. Non-fatal TBIs most often occur due to accidental falls, though motor vehicle accidents are not far behind in terms of totals (35% to 22%).
Unpacking the statistics leads to further information, such as the fact that the most common instances of TBI occur generally in males of the age group between 20 and 34. This is reasonable, given that young people – especially young men – are more prone to risk-taking than older people. Falls in general cause significant injuries nationwide, being the leading cause of injury and death for construction workers and the elderly, many of whom sustain TBIs as a result of their mishap. Other causes of TBIs include violence – blunt force trauma is an extremely common method of homicide – and sports injuries, such as those sustained after being tackled in football.
Causes of Action
There are many different ways that your traumatic brain injury may wind up being actionable, depending on the facts of the situation and the people involved. Most cases wind up being tried under a theory of negligence law, which means that another person who was involved in your accident allegedly conducted himself or herself in a manner that was reckless or wanton. To prove a case in negligence law, four things must be shown to the court. They are:
- The existence of a duty of care between the plaintiff and the defendant. For example, in South Carolina, a motorist has a duty of care toward pedestrians, which means that they must act in a reasonable and safe manner
- The breach of that duty
- A showing that the defendant’s conduct was the direct causation of the harm suffered by the plaintiff
- A showing of tangible damages sustained by the plaintiff
If you or your loved one sustained a TBI in a car accident, for example, you would need to show that a duty of reasonable care existed between you and the other motorist (it does, under common law, which was then incorporated into several court decisions). You would need to be able to show that the defendant breached that duty – that their conduct was reckless or indifferent to the well being of others. You would have to show that you suffered tangible damages as a result of the defendant’s conduct, as well – not necessarily physical damages, but more than just a few days of shock and bruises. A traumatic brain injury would certainly fit the bill of tangible damages.
Seek Experienced Legal Assistance
Brain injuries are life-changing and terrifying. If you have experienced one due to someone else’s negligence, you need experienced help on your side to get what you are owed. The North Charleston accident attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse are intelligent, compassionate and tenacious, with years of experience and an unparalleled commitment to success. Contact our office today to discuss your case.